D.O.A. (1950) 

[Get the Poster]

Edmond O'Brien
Pamela Britton
Luther Adler
Beverly Garland
Lynn Baggett
William Ching
Henry Hart

Rudolph Maté



Time: 83 mins.
Rating: Not Rated
Genre: Film Noir

SYNOPSIS: Small-town accountant Frank Bigelow goes to San Francisco for a week's fun prior to settling down with his fiancée. After a night on the town, he wakes up with more than just a hangover; doctors tell him he's been given a "luminous toxin" with no antidote and has, at most, a week to live. Not knowing who did it or why, Bigelow embarks on a frantic odyssey to find his own murderer.

BOTTOM LINE: The remake of this film is one of my guilty pleasures, so I decided to finally check out the original. There's something horribly clever about murdering your main character within the first five minutes of the movie. Well, he's not exactly dead yet, but that's inevitable, so the rest of the film is basically the search to uncover the how and why this seemingly harmless insurance man was so maliciously poisoned. Film noir's are always dark and convoluted, but this one seems to throw everything but the kitchen sink into the mix. There's so much double dealing you'd think you were in Vegas.

Needless to say, it has something to do with a missing bill of sale that proves deadly to all who seek to find it. O'Brien does a commendable job keeping this ship afloat, making it remotely interesting and understandable. His performance as this doomed man is truly gripping. He has no idea why this has happened to him and he's not about to go out of this life alone. The supporting cast is mostly pretty forgettable – all characters you've seen before done better. The look and feel of the flick is without much style, looking more like an old television show than a feature. If you like film noirs, you'll probably enjoy this picture. It has enough toughs, broads, betrayal and mystery to while away a lazy afternoon.

"I can breathe and I can move, but I'm not alive because I took that poison, and nothing can save me."

home | reviews | actors | actresses | film heaven | all reviews